Cover image for How baseball works
How baseball works
Thomas, Keltie, 1966-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Toronto : Maple Tree Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
64 pages : color illustrations ; 23 x 26 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Reading Level:
1060 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.4 3.0 79588.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV867.5 .T48 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
GV867.5 .T48 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV867.5 .T48 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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The amazing science behind America's favorite pastime. Play ball! How Baseball Works is a behind-the-scenes examination of the physics of baseball: home runs, curve balls and stolen bases. Baseball relies on scientific principles more than any other sport. Here's how the pros use physics to throw pitches that seem to defy gravity. Kinetic energy plays a role in knocking the ball out of the park. The number crunching for statistics shows the importance of mathematics to the game. Topics include: Stories of great players, old and new How pitchers can stay ahead of the game How the pros hit with accuracy and power Baserunning: sliding, stealing and scoring How to warm up, prevent injuries and strengthen muscles Famous fields and the Astroturf vs. grass debate Fun-to-read and colorfully illustrated, How Baseball Works makes the National Pastime more enjoyable than ever.

Author Notes

Keltie Thomas is an avid sports fan and award-winning children's science writer and editor. A former editor of OWL magazine

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-6. A lively and colorful overview with a scientific bent (and perhaps a few too many exclamation points). The book has all kinds of information: how the game is played, historical vignettes, sidebars, tips, and legendary stories. its about famous players such as Ichiro, Barry Bonds, and Ozzie Smith line up against should-be-well-known women, such as Jackie Mitchell and Molly McKesson. Tales of the Anaheim Rally Monkey and the catcher's new hockey-style mask play against sections on stats, ball delivery, and base running. Thomas also provides nifty experiments to try--among them, testing what would happen in play if you freeze or bake a baseball. The sprightly design work--bright colors, cartoons mixed with photos--adds immediacy and excitement. Thomas has it right: You don't have to be a baseball fanatic to read this book. --GraceAnne DeCandido Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

New titles offer tips and information for budding athletes. How Baseball Works by Keltie Thomas, illus. by Greg Hall, details some of the history and how-to regarding America's favorite pastime. Chapters explain baseball gear and the ways the game has evolved over time, with hints and anecdotes related in sidebars such as "Legends of the Game," "Quick Hit" and "Try This." An explanation of basic rules and a glossary keep readers game-ready. Each spread is divided into small bites of information, and humorous cartoon illustrations (such as a caricatured Green Monster at Fenway Park) and photos add to the visual appeal. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-This attractive volume is filled with snippets of facts and trivia. Thomas starts with a description of the ball: what it's made of, how it's used in the major leagues, and how it has changed through the years. This is followed by a fascinating discussion of the "sneaky science of doctoring the ball," which includes recipes for "Gourmet Pitches," such as spitballs, scuffballs, and mud balls. Ensuing chapters serve up an introduction to various facets of the game: equipment, training, hitting, pitching, keeping statistics, and major-league ballparks. Four simple experiments are presented, and each section includes a brief anecdote about one of baseball's great players. One memorably gross yet hilarious example involves spitball pitcher "Big Ed" Walsh and legendary manager, Connie Mack. This book provides a fun overview of the game and the eye-catching graphics and color photographs add much to its appeal. Lawrence Ritter's The Story of Baseball (Morrow, 1999) and Dan Gutman's The Way Baseball Works (S & S, 1996) provide more comprehensive treatments of the topic for both hardcore fans and novices.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



How Does Baseball Work? Fans, players, and inquiring minds everywhere want to know! What makes baseball such a great game? Why is the ball so flighty? What makes bats perform so smashingly? Do pitchers really have the edge over batters? What are the tools of ignorance, and why is baseball such a mind game? Just how do players' stats add up? What makes major-league grass greener? Does a curve ball really curve? How do pitchers get a grip...on the ball? How do hitters swing with such zing? How do pitchers and hitters work the count to psych each other out? And what exactly is the count, anyway? Well, just like everything else on earth, it all comes down to science (plus a few things science hasn't managed to explain yet!). And if you think that makes baseball sound boring, you'd better check what planet you're on. But, hey, why don't you turn the page and check out the world of baseball in action for yourself. It doesn't matter whether you play baseball, softball, T-ball, or even none at all. If you want answers to those burning questions, tips on becoming a better player, the scoop on inside information, or just to have a blast with the game, this book's for you. Legends of the Game: The Year of the Bat Crack! The tell-tale sound of a home run repeated over and over throughout 1998. Sluggers Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were smacking, whacking, and racking up long balls in the most explosive home-run race major-league baseball has ever seen. At first there wasn't much of a race at all. McGwire had 29 homers at the end of May, while Sosa had just 13. But then Slammin' Sammy began closing in on Big Mac in a big way. He blasted 21 home runs in 30 days on a record-setting hitting streak. Soon the two sluggers where neck and neck, chasing Roger Maris's 37-year-old record of 61 home runs in a single season. Then, in the middle of August, Sammy belted out his 48th round-trip-per, moving ahead of Big Mac for the first time. But not for long. Later that day, Big Mac hit two homers. In September, in a game the sluggers played against each other, Big Mac smashed the record. Slammin' Sammy hugged Mark in celebration and Big Mac lifted him off his feet. But the race between them kept on. By the end of the season, Slammin' Sammy hit 66 home runs, and Big Mac sped past him, cranking out a record-setting 70. And fans everywhere were left wondering, "Just how do they do that?" Excerpted from How Baseball Works by Keltie Thomas All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

How Does Baseball Work?p. 4
Legends of the Game: The Year of the Batp. 6
Chapter 1 That's the Way the Ball Bouncesp. 7
Legends of the Game: Too Sick to Lickp. 14
Chapter 2 The Toolsp. 15
Legends of the Game: How Baseball Got a Hockey Maskp. 22
Chapter 3 The Complete Athletep. 23
Legends of the Game: The Wizard of Ozp. 30
Chapter 4 The Science of Explosive Movesp. 31
Legends of the Game: The Splinter's Hitting Sciencep. 36
Chapter 5 Pitcher vs. Batterp. 37
Legends of the Game: Few Could Outmatch Satchp. 44
Chapter 6 Playing by Numbersp. 45
Legends of the Game: Jolting Joe Does the Impossiblep. 50
Chapter 7 Take Me Out to the Ballparkp. 51
Legends of the Game: Winning Monkey Businessp. 60
Rules and Regsp. 61
Baseball Talkp. 62
Indexp. 64